Are you looking to build bigger and stronger biceps? If so bicep curls are great exercises to add to your workout routine.
Bicep curls are an important part of any workout for the bicep muscles. But there are many different ways to do the bicep curl.
It can be hard to know which one is best for getting the best results. Should you be doing barbell curls, dumbbell curls, or cable curls?
In this blog post, we’ll compare the Dumbbell Curl, Barbell Curl and Cable Curl to help you decide which one is the best fit for your goals.
- Know More Bicep Curl Exercises
- Which One Is Best: Dumbbell Curl, Barbell Curl and Cable Curl
- Dumbbell Curl
- Barbell Curl
- Cable Curl
- 1. Dumbbell Curl
- How To Do Dumbbell Bicep Curl
- 2. Barbell Bicep Curl
- How To Do Barbell Curl
- 3. Cable Curl
- How To Do Cable Curl
- Add Bicep Curl Into Your Workout Routine
- 1. Bicep-Focused Workout Routine
- 2. Pull Workout Routine
- 3. Full Body Workout Routine
- What is the main difference between a barbell curl and a dumbbell curl?
- Are cable curls better than dumbbell curls
- Are cable curls better than barbell curls?
- Should I do the barbell, dumbbell, or cable curls while bulking?
- Top 5 Biceps Workout to Get Bigger Biceps
Know More Bicep Curl Exercises
The bicep curl is a highly recognizable biceps exercise that helps to build bigger and stronger biceps. It’s a good way to make your arm stronger and more defined.
The bicep curl is known for its ability to isolate and strengthen the biceps, promoting muscle growth, definition, and increased arm strength.
They are an isolation exercise that works primarily on your biceps and also trains the muscles in your forearms. It’s usually added to upper body workouts to make the arms look good and be strong.
There are many variations of bicep curl such as dumbbell Curl, barbell Curl and cable curl that you can add to your workout routine, and all have their own unique benefits.
Which One Is Best: Dumbbell Curl, Barbell Curl and Cable Curl
So which type of bicep curl is right for you? It depends on your goals and preferences. Each variation targets the bicep in different ways and offers unique benefits.
Let’s look at the key aspects of each exercise to help you make an informed decision.
- It can be done with each arm independently, which can help to correct imbalances.
- Better range of motion than barbell.
- Can increase time under tension at top of curl
- Allows for heavier weights, which can lead to more muscle growth.
- Easier to progress with over time.
- Works both arms equally.
- Emphasizes strength building
- Provides constant tension on the biceps throughout the movement.
- It can be done with a variety of different grips, which can target different muscle fibers.
- Easier to adjust the resistance, which can be helpful for beginners.
1. Dumbbell Curl
The Dumbbell bicep curl is a highly recognizable biceps exercise that helps to build bigger and stronger biceps. It’s a good way to make your arm stronger and more defined.
There are many variations of dumbbell curl that you can add to your workout routine, and all have their own unique benefits.
- Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- Dumbbell Drag Curl
- Dumbbell Spider Curl
- Dumbbell Seated Curl
- Preacher Dumbbell Curl
- It helps to train one arm at a time and address any strength imbalances in the bicep.
- Better range of motion compared to barbell curls.
- Easier to increase or decrease weight as you progress.
- Can increase time under tension at the top by holding the contraction.
- No need for a spotter or equipment other than dumbbells.
- Harder to maintain perfect form with heavier weights.
- Not as much progressive overload potential as barbells.
- It can be challenging to stabilize heavier dumbbells.
How To Do Dumbbell Bicep Curl
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated grip (palms facing up).
- Exhale and slowly curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders
- Continue to raise the dumbbells until your forearms are perpendicular to the ground.
- To take a brief pause, squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement.
- Inhale as you slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
2. Barbell Bicep Curl
If you are looking for a simple yet effective exercise to add mass and strength to your bicep workout. Then, barbell bicep curls, are a good starting point.
The standard bicep curl is a well-known exercise for building bicep muscle mass. It’s a great exercise for seeing results in strength and definition.
There are different ways to do a barbell bicep curl in order to build a bigger and stronger biceps.
A barbell curl is a pull-type, isolation exercise that works primarily on your biceps and also trains the muscles in your forearms.
Note: In the study conducted, they found that the EZ barbell curl showed the highest overall electromyography (EMG) activity in the biceps brachii (BB) and brachioradialis (BR) muscles compared to the dumbbell curl (DC) and barbell curl (BC) variants.
- Allows you to lift heavier weights to build strength.
- Worked both arms equally and at the same time.
- Easy to progressively overload by adding weight to the bar.
- Limited range of motion compared to dumbbells.
- Fixed hand position can be difficult on the wrists.
How To Do Barbell Curl
- Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a barbell with an underhand grip (palms facing up) and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Allow the barbell to hang at arm’s length in front of your thighs.
- Now slowly pull the barbell towards your chest.
- Continue curling until the barbell is at shoulder level.
- Hold this position for a brief pause and squeeze your biceps to maximize the contraction.
- Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of times.
3. Cable Curl
Why are cable curls so vital? Cable curls have a lot of advantages over traditional bicep curls. The ability to target different parts of your biceps and constant tension throughout the movement are some of the things that make these curls so effective.
To build bigger, stronger biceps and achieve an impressive pump, you should know about cable curls and how to add them to your arm workout routine.
- Constant tension is provided throughout the whole range of motion.
- Provide unilateral or bilateral training options.
- You can easily change the resistance by moving the pin up or down.
- It can be done with a variety of different grips.
- Access to cable machines might be restricted in some gyms or home setups.
- Less effective for building maximal strength compared to other curls.
How To Do Cable Curl
- Attach a straight bar to the low pulley of a cable machine.
- Stand facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
- Stand tall with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and elbows fully extended.
- Slowly curl the bar up towards your shoulders.
- Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
- Complete the desired number of reps and sets.
- Use an appropriate weight that fatigues the biceps in 8-12 reps.
- Maintain good posture. Do not swing or use momentum – use controlled form.
Related Post: Bicep Cable Workout To Build Mass And Strength
Add Bicep Curl Into Your Workout Routine
The bicep curls can be incorporated into your workout routine in a variety of ways. Here are some options:
- As a standalone exercise: Do on 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
- As part of a bicep workout: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps along with other bicep exercises like them barbell bicep curl and hammer curl.
- As part of a full-body workout: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps along with other compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
1. Bicep-Focused Workout Routine
|Cable Hammer Curl||3||10-12|
2. Pull Workout Routine
3. Full Body Workout Routine
What is the main difference between a barbell curl and a dumbbell curl?
The main difference between a barbell curl and a dumbbell curl is that the barbell curl typically allows the lifter to lift more weight, making it a better choice for maximizing muscle growth. The dumbbell curl is a highly effective exercise for addressing muscular imbalances and energizing the stabilizing muscles of the arm.
Are cable curls better than dumbbell curls
Both cable curl and dumbbell curl have their advantages, so the best choice depends on your goals and training needs. Cable curls provide constant tension through the entire range of motion which maximizes time under tension for the biceps. Dumbbell curls allow a greater range of motion stretch at the bottom position compared to cables.
Are cable curls better than barbell curls?
Neither cable curls nor barbell curls are definitively “better” than the other. Both exercises have unique advantages and cater to different training goals.
1. Cable Curls
- Provide Constant tension, adjustable weight increments, versatile angles, and grip options.
- Cable curls better isolate the biceps.
- Cables can isolate each arm.
2. Barbell Curls
- Barbell curls allow heavier weights to be used, which enables greater progressive overload
- Engages both arms simultaneously, reduces workout time.
- Barbell curls build foundational biceps strength.
Should I do the barbell, dumbbell, or cable curls while bulking?
During a bulk, use heavy barbell curls to maximize strength and size gains. But also use dumbbells and cable curls for balanced development.
To get bigger and stronger biceps, it’s important to do different types of bicep curls. Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, and cable curls all provide unique benefits that stimulate muscle growth from different angles.
Dumbbell curls allow you to focus on each arm independently. Barbell curls enable heavy progressive overload to pack on strength and size. Lastly, cable curls maintain constant tension throughout the motion, maximizing muscle activation.
To get the most out of your biceps training, be sure to cycle through all three exercises. Curling exercises, rep ranges, and hand positions will hit your biceps from multiple angles and give you a chance to grow muscles.
- Nunes, J.P.; Jacinto, J.L.; Ribeiro, A.S.; Mayhew, J.L.; Nakamura, M.; Capel, D.M.G.; Santos, L.R.; Santos, L.; Cyrino, E.S.; Aguiar, A.F. Placing greater torque at shorter or longer muscle lengths? Effects of cable vs. barbell preacher curl training on muscular strength and hypertrophy in young adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5859
- Biscarini A., Borio R., Coscia F., Mazzolai G., Simonetti S., Rosi G. (2005) Biomechanics of dumbbell, barbell and cable biceps curl exercises. Italian Journal of Sports Science 12, 83-93
- Coratella, Giuseppe, Gianpaolo Tornatore, Stefano Longo, Nicholas Toninelli, Riccardo Padovan, Fabio Esposito, and Emiliano Cè. 2023. “Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis Excitation in Biceps Curl Exercise: Different Handgrips, Different Synergy” Sports 11, no. 3: 64. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11030064
- Ashmore A. The benefits of unilateral training. American Council on Exercise.
Top 5 Biceps Workout to Get Bigger Biceps
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.